Monday, July 6, 2009

Ohio to Cut State Financial Participation in Title IV-E Adoption Assistance?

The best guess, and it is still uncertain, is that Ohio' s budget legislation is going to reduce its matching share of Title IV-E adoption assistance to overall monthly payments of $215 PER MONTH. At around 40%, that means the state's contribution will amount to about $86 PER MONTH. Yes, that's right, if the the cuts go through as proposed.

Foster care rates probably will not go down because Ohio County welfare agencies have a legal obligation to provide foster care. Counties are already contracting larger portions of their foster care to private service providers because of the difficulty of securing qualified caregivers.

The problem of course is that with 70 or or percent of special needs children being adopted by their foster parents, the struggle over negotiating an adequate amount of adoption assistance will become more intense. I urge adopting parents to become as well informed as possible and to negotiate as as vigorously as they can. I will assist Ohio families as well as those in other states, upon request.

Families with existing agreements cannot be automatically cut. The existing agreement is essentially a contract. Please let me know what is going on in your state.